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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Summit

The path to the top is long.

2 Samuel 7:8–17

“Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”

According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

Few passages in scripture are so highly praised by the commentators. It’s profound, beautiful, and messianic. Some consider it the summit of the Old Testament.

But consider how we got here. Imagine David tending his father’s sheep. We saw the attitude his father and his brothers had towards him. When Samuel came to anoint the next king, his father didn’t even think of David when he presented his sons to Samuel. David, stuck out in the field tending sheep, surely prayed that he would gain their respect.

And how did God answer that prayer? By sending a lion. And a bear.

And this didn’t just grow David’s skill with a sling; it grew his relationship with the One who sent the lion and the bear.

The summit had a long path to the top.

The LORD didn’t just discover that there was someone after His own heart. He grew him from scratch.

And the key fertilizer was trials. David was blessed, but not with rest. Just imagine his reaction to a lion or bear showing up. If it was after he prayed for respect from his family, he might have said something like, “Really? This is your answer?” His faith would have been sorely challenged. Yet deliverance in the trial would have answered that challenge. Afterwards, he would have had plenty of time to think about it.

Eventually, maybe even not until after he killed Goliath, David figured out that the lion and the bear really were answers to his prayer.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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